Warren Ellis

Global Frequency (2005, Nelson McCormick)

Maybe “Global Frequency” would work if it weren't so obvious in its attempts to be endearing. John Rogers's script tries to establish character chemistry in the pilot without giving it a chance to actually grow on its own.

For example, good-looking alpha male lead Josh Hopkins teases good-looking demure scientist female lead Jenni Baird and she says she doesn't like it but you can tell she really does. Except Baird's terrible and she and Hopkins have no chemistry. Director McCormick actually has her whip off her glasses when she's perturbed. It's asinine.

Hopkins is actually good. He can get out the goofy dialogue and ground the show in reality.

Unable to ground the show are co-stars Aimee Garcia and Michelle Forbes. McCormick apes Matrix fight scenes for Forbes, who clearly isn't a martial artist and she's also real bored acting in the show. Garcia's endearingly annoying.

It's an inept execution.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Nelson McCormick; teleplay by John Rogers, based on the comic book by Warren Ellis; director of photography, Checco Varese; edited by Michael Schultz; production designers, Linda Del Rosario and Richard Paris; produced by Mark Burnett and Charlie Goldstein.

Starring Josh Hopkins (Sean Flynn), Jenni Baird (Dr. Katrina Finch), Aimee Garcia (Aleph), Brian Jensen (Richard Jenkins), Bill Dow (Oscar Cergeyev) and Michelle Forbes (Miranda Zero).


Moon Knight 1 (May 2014)

297651 20140305124015 largeThe Declan Shalvey art is nice and Warren Ellis gets a kick out of some of the comic, but it’s still just another Moon Knight comic. I’m not sure if there’s anyway to make an exciting Moon Knight comic. It sure doesn’t seem like it.

Ellis has got Moon Knight in a white suit and mask, traveling New York in a driverless limo–so he’s also cool enough to get exclusive Google betas. Ellis doesn’t seem interested in those parts. He doesn’t do them well.

He writes the crime scene investigation stuff well, even if he’s just aping “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.” He’s not visibly interested in those scenes though.

But when he has Moon Knight facing off against Mean Machine’s unhealthy ancestor? Then Ellis is engaged. Shame he follows that part of the comic up with lame Moon Knight retcon (or revelations).

Shalvey alone can’t carry the comic.

C+ 

CREDITS

Slasher; writer, Warren Ellis; artist, Declan Shalvey; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Red 3 (February 2004)

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Seriously, someone read Red and wanted to option it for a movie? I just finished reading it and I want to burn the memory from my mind. Ellis gives the comic some big Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ending like anyone cares. I’d forgotten how much I loathe this hipster comic books.

This issue has a lot more dialogue. It still generally takes place in about five minutes, but it’s a dialogue heavy five minutes. The protagonist gets to ramble on about real men and so on and so forth. The second issue reminded me a little of Rambo; this third one made me wish Ellis could write dialogue as well as a Rambo movie. He’s so self-indulgent and bad it boggles the mind.

It’s one of those comics one could easily laugh about but I cannot. I read the entire thing and so the joke is on me.

CREDITS

Writer, Warren Ellis; artist, Cully Hamner; colorist, David Self; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Ben Abernathy; publisher, Homage Comics.

Red 2 (October 2003)

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Did Ellis really spend an entire issue on quickly killing four assassins and a couple conversations? Now I remember why I avoid most of Ellis’s work–his pacing is absolutely atrocious.

He has an idea here with Red–what if the CIA reactivated their best assassin and he came after them. But Ellis doesn’t have any more story following that idea. The first issue had a vague Bush looks like a chimp joke, but nothing else as far as a point.

Hammer’s art is getting really boring. The idea of cartoonish spies being really violent–it’s like Queen and Country in color and not good. The lengthy talking heads scene is just painful.

I’m trying to think if there’s anything I liked about the issue–I didn’t even like the end because it’s got a stupid cliffhanger. Red might be the perfect example of why three issue limited series are a really bad idea.

CREDITS

Writer, Warren Ellis; artist, Cully Hamner; colorist, David Self; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Ben Abernathy; publisher, Homage Comics.

Red 1 (September 2003)

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I’m curious what Warren Ellis’s script for this issue looks like… it must be really short. Maybe he draws on the pages, thumbnails, sketches, something. Because he can’t be writing much on them. This issue has almost no dialogue after the first five or six pages.

So it’s all up to Cully Hammer and he does a decent job of it. He’s got to infuse the story with humor but also with horrific violence. He gets the humor part down, the horrific violence not so much. In fact, the action sequence closing the issue is a bit of a bore. The one or two panel emphases on protagonist killing someone–three in this issue’s present action–are supposed to mean something. There are similar flashback panels to show how the protagonist is devastated after being a CIA assassin. It doesn’t work.

But it’s nearly okay. Maybe if the exposition weren’t so forced.

CREDITS

Writer, Warren Ellis; artist, Cully Hamner; colorist, David Self; letterer, John Costanza; editors, John Layman and Ben Abernathy; publisher, Homage Comics.

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